Diets Prevention

Poor Gut Health in Childhood Can Have These Lasting Effects

After a childhood of poor eating habits, many people eventually come around to eating healthier to lose their unwanted weight as adults. Unfortunately, a new study finds it may already be too late to save their gut health. Researchers from the University of California-Riverside say eating too much fat and sugar as a child can permanently alter a person’s microbiome.

“We studied mice, but the effect we observed is equivalent to kids having a Western diet, high in fat and sugar and their gut microbiome still being affected up to six years after puberty,” explains UCR evolutionary physiologist Theodore Garland in a university release.

Their findings reveal mature mice who consume a high-fat diet as juveniles go on to have less overall and less diverse gut bacteria. The microbiome is the total sum of all the bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses which live inside and on the surface of humans and animals. Most of these organisms live in the intestines and the majority are helpful to human health. They can stimulate the immune system, break down food, and even synthesize vitamins. Read more…

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